Both Balmoral and Maywood Park will be on a short hiatus from live Standardbred racing beginning on Sunday, Feb. 3. The "break” will last until Wednesday, Feb. 13, when Balmoral resumes live racing with a 10-race card which will get underway at 7:10 p.m.
There will be no qualifying races at Balmoral Park on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Qualifiers are scheduled to resume on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Maywood Park will not host qualifiers until live racing resumes on Thursday, Feb. 14. Both facilities will be open day and night for simulcast wagering during the down time and both tracks will be open to horsemen for training each day.
As part of Balmoral's Saturday card fans will get the chance to play into a pair of guaranteed pools before heading into the break. The 50-cent Pick 5 (races 2-6) has a carryover of $6,098 and will be guaranteed at $30,000 while the $1 Pick 4 (races 10-13) will have a $20,000 guaranteed pool.
The Saturday card at Balmoral came up very strong with a trio of top class events sharing top billing. A $12,500 "Winners Over” for trotters has drawn a field of eight in race seven and will kick off a very attractive Pick 3. A pair of $300,000 plus career winners in Evil Urges (3-1) and newcomer Celebrity Hercules (4-1) figure to lead the way among this group.
A field of 10 distaffers will slug it out in race eight which is a $16,000 Filly & Mare Open-Handicap. Among those going postward in here are Betterluvnextime (3-1), a winner in this event back on Jan. 19 in 1:53.2 and Aqua Artist (7-2), who captured her last start in a blistering 152.2.
The classy St. Elmo Hero (2-1) will lead a field of nine postward in race nine which is a $17,000 Invitational-Handicap. The 33-time career winner who boasts lifetime earnings of more than $663,000 for John Barnard will be looking for his third straight win over these rivals. Among those expected to challenge are Al's Hammered (9-2), an 11-time winner in 2012 and the veteran Fort Silky (4-1), who boasts lifetime earnings of nearly $310,000. Eight of the nine participants in the race have career bankrolls of more than $100,000. (Balmoral)